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Parkerized finish durability

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Aahzz, Mar 31, 2003.

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  1. Aahzz

    Aahzz Member

    Mar 6, 2003
    Hiya folks,

    Am thinking about FINALLY picking up my first 1911, and the Springfield Loaded Parkerized is among the leading contenders. How durable is the parkerized finish if I should decide to make this a carry gun?

    Also, to those with multiple 1911, would you consider the Springfield on par with, say, Kimber, Dan Wesson, and S&W? Yes, I know the Valtro is awesome :) . My price range, however, is definitely sub-$1000, and preferably sub-$800. I;ve also looked at the Kimber TLE and the SW1911 - have yet to find a Dan Wesson locally. Right now the Springfield is leading the pack, as it has night sights (which is why I'm looking at the parked over the stainless) at an affordable price, as well as no unnecessary firing pin safety.

  2. mete

    mete Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    It was the standard military finish for many years so it's proven durable . More recent military used that as a base and coated it with such things as epoxy. You could do something similar by coating it with Gunkote.
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Jan 3, 2003
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    If I could (time, patience etc) I'd Parkerize every non S/S gun I have. LOVE that finish.

    Indeed, IMO the best and most durable of any .. even tho for example, my S7W M27 does have that deep and handsome black Smith finish!
  4. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Dude! The Valtro is AWSOME! ;)

    Seriously, word on the street is that Parkerization shows holster wear pretty well. I would go SS or Hard Chrome.

    WESHOOT2 Member

    Dec 29, 2002

    Hardchrome, electroless nickel, and NP3 are 'durable'.

    In my (granted not every example ever made) experience Kimber makes a more accurate and reliable 1911 than other choices in its price break.
    I am not trying to condemn any brand, but IME Springfield 1911's are generally not as accurate or feed-reliable; Colts are usually 'tweaked' so it's unfair of me to suggest how a stock one will perform (I have personally never seen anyone shooting a 'stock' Colt full-size); Valtro, DW, S&W (ha!) have not yet crossed my palm..........

    Night sites may be added as finances allow.

    The 1911 Forum is a great place to visit for more information.
  6. AK103K

    AK103K Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Everything shows holster wear, especially over time. If you dont want it on your gun, dont carry it. All "parks" arent the same, there are different types and colors. I have a Browning High Power that came factory parked, it was more like a "wash" and wore off quickly. I re-parked it in black phospate and its much better. On the Springfields I have or have had, the park job held up well to use. They do show holster and handling wear, but everything does over time.
  7. Selfdfenz

    Selfdfenz Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    Small-sky country, again
    I have always liked parkerized finishes.
    My SA is park'd and while it does show some marks it is generally holding up very well. Don't know exactly what parkerizing process SA uses but its seems to be a fairly good one.
    I carry mine in a kydex Com-tac. That may be the biggest reason it still looks nearly new. Not too many contact points.
    I agree with P9Carry. Except for the beauty contest winners in my safe I'd like to have parkerizing on all of the rest.

    One PITA. If you have a park'd gun and have work done on it that takes it to the "white" that finish has to be replaced. Many quality smiths can touch up a blued pistol and you will never know the diff. If the smith doesn't do parkerizing it can be an issue to have the touchup work done. FYI, just my experience.

    I believe Kimbers are a bit more accurate than SAs out-of-the-box too, but I still like the SA I have.
  8. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Central IN
    Regarding finish, I appreciate a nice blue job, esp on rifles, as much as the next guy but my experience with parkerizing has been positive. The two handguns in my collection that have had the most use, both are parkerized. Well, the Taurus PT99 looks like parkerizing but may be a proprietary finish. I also don't have a problem with stainless. I know it isn't as hard and should last as long but I wouldn't have a problem replacing the gun after it's worn out after 20 years instead of lasting 100 years. I've long thought if I had a custom gun built, I would try the Boron Carbide finish but they seem to have made it a bit more difficult to work with BodyKote.

    I own several 1911s and have owned several more. I don't think this makes my opinion any more well founded than anyone elses but I can honestly say I don't have anything against any of the major manufacturers.

    My favorite 1911 is a Springfield Loaded Stainless Target. It is one of the newer made guns with the correctly contoured front strap and ambi safety. Mine is particularly well fitted - not tight like a Baer or Rock River, but better than any other out-of-the-box sub $1,200 1911 I've ever handled. I am told that there is very little actual hand fitting and at the price, I would have to agree but several parts fit perfectly in their place. The trigger has only very little up and down play and even less lateral movement. The grip safety might almost please Dane Burns. The barrel bushing doesn't quite need a wrench but it really takes some effort to initially twist it clockwise. The barrel to slide fit is darn near rock solid and the slide to frame fit is as good as I can imagine without a great deal of handfitting. After replacing the ILS mainspring housing and internals with Wilson parts, the trigger dropped down to about 2.6 lbs but more importantly, my trigger guy doesn't think he could give it a better trigger job though he isn't comfortable knowing someone carries a gun with a 2.5 lb trigger. There is no creep and the overtravel stop was exactly properly adjusted. I don't believe I'm capable of taking full advantage of it's accuracy potential but my accuracy with it is as good as any other 1911 I've ever owned. Reliability has been perfect from the start. I shoot mostly S&B ball ammo which no pistol should have a problem feeding. Every HP ammo I've tried has been 100% including 200 +P Gr Gold Dots, 230 Gr +P Gold Dots, 230 Gr and 230 Gr +P Rangers, 230 Gr and 185 Gr Golden Sabers, and 200 Gr +P Hornady XTPs. I admit that I've never shot the 200 Gr LSWC that many folks like to shoot with.

    Not all are that well fit and there's bound to be a hiccup or two breaking the gun in. I used to own a 9mm the serial number of which was only 40 (IIRC) away from this one but not nearly as well fitted. I handled two other PI9132Ls the day I bought this one and this was by far the most impressive. I guess this says that I just lucked into a very choice example but it also shows that if you keep looking, you might run into another such example.

    I'm about done with lower priced 1911s unless I come across a good deal at a show, pawn shop or from a friend. My next planned 1911 purchase will be a Springfield Pro and then, I believe I'll be done. :D :rolleyes: (Never said that before.) But when folks ask what 1911 I would recommend on a budget of $800 or less, I always suggest a Springfield Loaded. Under $500 I suggest a Springfield MilSpec and less than that, a used MilSpec or Colt 1991A1. I've probably had 15 friends buy Loadeds and I don't recall any of them having any complaints.

  9. Handy

    Handy Guest

    Parkerizing is the original "hostile environment" finish. When the M1911A1 participated as a control in the XM9 trials, it was parkerized. Over all, it came out third in the tests.

    Parkerizing is neat in that it loves to absorb oil. So the key to keeping the rust off is to really soak the finish in oil or grease (old Garands are greenish largely from absorbing Cosmoline). It seems to be a durable finish, but can't be retouched and is matte, so rubbed areas are obvious.

    Of coures, parkerizing is the cheapest type of re-finish, so does it matter if it wears a little?
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